Court appearance for South Valley man accused of killing student

FRESNO, Calif.

Edwin Canedo faces one count of murder with a special allegation for using a rock as a deadly weapon.

Visalia police arrested him back in October. They say he killed Emilio Molina back in 2009 as he walked to a friend's house.

On Friday several people took the stand to determine whether this case will continue and if Canedo will be tried.

Among them, several Visalia police officers and a family member who say Canedo was upset Molina was talking with his step-daughter the night of the crime.

This is the man Tulare County investigators believe attacked and killed 17-year-old Emilio Molina as he walked to a friend's house in Visalia nearly two years ago.

Edwin Canedo is accused of beating Molina in June 2009 by repeatedly hitting him in the head with a large river rock.

"There had been evidence of injury to the body which included bruising around the eye, and a laceration on the side of the face which was stitched shut and an abrasion on the forehead," Dr. Burr Caldwell Hartman of the Tulare County Coroner's Office said.

A woman driving to work around midnight saw his body lying underneath a truck right across the street from Mount Whitney High School where he would have been a senior

Molina had suffered several skull fractures and was put on a respirator for 8 days before he died from his injuries.

On Friday a key witness in the case took the stand. Canedo's estranged wife, Sylvia Chavez, told the court she believes she was with her husband the night Molina was murdered.

She said the two met to discuss their marriage and were on the way to her apartment when she noticed a teenage boy walking near the front entrance.

She says Canedo questioned her about the boy, but she continued to go inside to use the restroom.

When she came back, she said she found her car facing the opposite direction then when she left it and Canedo was acting peculiar.

"When I left him in the car he had a button up shirt with an undershirt. When I had seen him he had that button up shirt off over his shoulder, sweating a little," Chavez said.

Chavez later learned her oldest daughter was on the phone with Molina when the call suddenly ended. That's when she says she contacted police because something was wrong.

Visalia police recorded several conversations with Chavez that were over an hour in length.

Because the defense didn't have enough time to review those phone calls, the judge agreed to continue the preliminary hearing to a later date. It's now scheduled for July 3.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.